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Significant sectional events during 1840s and 1850s

The end of the Mexican War created bitter sectional conflict between Northern Whigs and Southern Democrats. The abolitionists of the North feared that the slavery would be extended to the newly acquired territories while the southerners feared that if the slavery was abolished, they would loose their power in the congress. The solution came in 1846, when David Wilmot, a Pennsylvanian Democrat introduced an amendment known as the Wilmot provisions. The Wilmot provisions prohibited slavery in the newly acquired territories from Mexico. Southerners opposed the Wilmot provisions and in the long run it was not able to pass in the Senate. Eventhough, Wilmot provisions did not become law, it fueled once more the sectionalism in the politics of United States.

The failure to reach a solution on Wilmot provisions led to the rise of another term known as the "Popular Sovereignty." The term was coined by Lewis Cass of Michigan. According to the new theory, the people of the new territories would decide, whether they need slavery or not. The issue of Popular Sovereignty did not remain during 1840s but it continued to be debated even during the next decade.Another important event before the Civil war was the founding of the Free Soil party in 1848. The Free Soil Party opposed the extension of slavery in the west and favored free land for homesteaders. The party nominated Martin Van Buren as its presidential candidate in 1848 election.

The sectional issues continued to dominate the politics of the country. In 1850, Henry Clay in an effort to solve all the outstanding issues presented a series of resolutions known as Omnibus bill, but it failed. On July 9, 1850 President Taylor expired and he was succeeded by President Millard Fillmore. In the congress the issue of compromise of 1850 was taken over by Stephen Douglas. He was able to gain the support of both Northerners and Southerners. The Congress was able to pass the compromise of 1850. Another important event in 1850 which led to the sectional conflict was the publication of the book Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. The novel had terrific impact on the nation that about two million copies of the books were sold in 1852. The piece of legislation introduced in 1854 by Stephen Douglas had shattered the sectional peace. The Kansas Nebraska Act created two territories Kansas and Nebraska. The Missouri Compromise was cancelled and the issue of slavery in the new territories would be decided by the Popular Sovereignty. The Kansas Nebraska Act had wounded the feelings of Northerners and they blamed Douglas for supporting the southerners.

Another gruesome incident in the history of sectional issue was the bleeding Kansas. The Kansas Nebraska Act stipulated that issue of slavery in the territory would be decided on the basis of popular vote. Both Northerners and Southerners fought each other to occupy the state. Kansas became the battleground for the Northerners and southerners over the issue of Popular Sovereignty. The situation became grave when John Brown, an abolitionist and his followers killed five men in 1856. It was followed by violence to revenge the attacks of John Brown. In the end, the bloody conflict in Kansas claimed the life of about 200 men.

The ruling of the Supreme Court judge Tanney on the plea of African American slave, Dred Scott for freedom created great sectional feelings. Tanney ruled that Dred Scott had no right to sue in the Federal Court because slaves and free blacks were not the citizens of United States. He further ruled that congress had no right to ban slavery in any territory as it would be violate the Fifth Amendment. In essence, he ruled that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional. The ruling of the Supreme Court further created a great division in the country over the issue of slavery. The last event before the Civil war was Lincoln Douglas debate over the issue of slavery in 1858. During the debate Douglas advocated Popular Sovereignty. Lincoln on the otherhand, pointed out that Douglas argument directly challenged the Dred Scott decision. Lincoln Douglas debates continued for over four months. Although, Lincoln failed to win the Senate seat of Illinois, the debates brought him to the national spotlight.

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The end of the Mexican War created bitter sectional conflict between Northern Whigs and Southern Democrats. The abolitionists of the North feared that the slavery would be extended to the newly acquired territories while the southerners feared that if the slavery was abolished, they would loose their power in the congress. The solution came in 1846, when David Wilmot, a Pennsylvanian Democrat introduced an amendment known as the Wilmot provisions. The Wilmot provisions prohibited slavery in the newly acquired territories from Mexico. Southerners opposed the Wilmot provisions and in the long run it was not able to pass in the Senate. Eventhough, Wilmot provisions did not become law, it fueled once more the sectionalism in the politics of United States.

The failure to reach a solution on Wilmot provisions led to the rise of another term known as the "Popular Sovereignty." The term was coined by Lewis Cass of Michigan. According to the new theory, the people of the new territories would decide, whether they need slavery or not. The issue of Popular ...

Solution Summary

This is a solution about the events during 1840s and 1850s which sparked off the American Civil War.

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